KOCHI: The GCDA appears to be in sleep mode as motorists risk life and limb testing their manoeuvring skills while navigating the Kaloor-Kathrikadavu road pockmarked with potholes.
Are they immune to the woes of the public? Or do they want more blood to be shed on the altar of their lethargy?
Several accidents and back-to-back media reports have failed to elicit any positive response from the authorities. Though instituted to plan and develop the metropolitan area of Kochi, the authority hasn’t been able to cater to even the basic needs of its population. The busy stretch connecting two important points in the city has been in a bad shape for the past one year.
Though GCDA chairman C N Mohanan had promised to repair the road before March 20, the potholes and the cracks still remain, waiting to prey on motorists. He was forced to give the deadline after an irate motorist launched an impromptu protest against the authority. He blocked the traffic for several hours after his car got stuck in a one-foot-deep pothole.
Local residents and politicians joined the protest, forcing the authorities to give an assurance to the Corporation, district administration, and the agitators that the road would be repaired soon.
When Express conducted a reality check from Kaloor to Kathrikadavu on Wednesday, we could spot over 20 potholes. Though the GCDA restored the road dug up by the KWA for laying a pipeline, no potholes were filled up although they are hardly a metre away. According to GCDA officers, the delay occurred when Dean Constructions - the contractor for restoring the road - dragged the work for over seven months.
Surprisingly, the authority has failed to blacklist the company even after the Collector and the public came down hard against them for inaction. Mohanan said the delay was mainly caused by the lethargic attitude of the contractor.
“After the month-long delay, we terminated the contract and also imposed a fine of `1 lakh for delaying the project,” he told Express. “At present, we have handed over the work to KMRL and they have completed the re-tarring on one side of the road. If the rain takes a break, the remaining stretch can be completed within days. We can’t guarantee whether the work will be carried out on a rainy day,” he said.